New York Movie Review
Review without spoilers
It’s a thriller and an engaging one. Four characters dominate the movie. There’s Omar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) playing the new immigrant to the United States and Indian Americans Sameer Shaikh (John Abraham) and Maya (Katrina Kaif) who meet up at New York State University two years before 9/11. Irrfan Khan plays Roshan, an FBI agent. He is the catalyst who sets the story going. This is right at the start of the movie, when he meets up with Omar, seven years after 9/11.
From here on viewers are treated to some flashbacks of university life, all from the viewpoint of Omar. We get to know how Omar, Maya and Sameer meet, the deep friendship that develops between them and why Omar is not in touch with Sameer and Maya anymore. But no, the story does not play out in flashback. The real story is in the present. And before we know it Omar has set out to perform the most dangerous assignment of his life. So this movie is not about college life nor is it really about a love triangle. The subject is a far more serious one…about how terrorism affects the life of innocent people.
Terrible crimes in the name of investigation happened after 9/11, many of them committed by police officers and the American government. If you have heard of the Patriot Act you will know that this Act allows the United States government to detain suspected terrorists without a trial. And if you have heard of Guantanamo Bay which President Obama closed down recently then you know what happened to the detainees there. That they were tortured horribly, for months. It’s difficult for those who go in to lead a normal life again. An actor who plays one such detainee acts brilliantly, although I could not get hold of his name. I shall add it here when I do but it was this man’s acting which stood out.
The director is not judgmental. He simply tells it how it is, and in fact a major character in the movie, Roshan, even explains why such tactics were necessary. At the end of the movie one does get the message that detaining and torturing people is morally wrong, but one also gets the message that this is what happens, and no one can be blamed. Freedom has to be protected, whatever the cost.
The acting was fine, and Katrina was quite good, playing the devoted girl friend, wife and mother. John did his hurly burly act and Neil did his emotional one. Irrfan’s role didn’t call for much except looking stern. He is now playing these sterotypical roles which is sad because this actor is capable of much more.
The movie is entertaining suspense thriller and its best you don’t know how it ends. There aren’t too many light moments and the background music is good but I found the songs too long and too intrusive. Although no one actually sings them, they seem unnecessary and tagged on.
I liked the cinematography. It was beautiful the way they shot New York. I am not sure if those buildings actually look so beautiful and colourful, the way they do in the shots.
(Photo from sify.com)